Coordinator of Student Activities and Organizations Britany Gallagher has resigned from her position at Keene State College effective Friday, November 22. There is no one currently scheduled to take over her role, which includes overseeing a variety of student organizations on campus, from Greek life to student government.
Gallagher said that her reason for leaving is to explore other career opportunities.
“This is my fourth year, my fifth academic year, at Keene State. In that time I’ve seen a lot of change happen, I’ve been a part of a lot of change and I’ve had opportunities to learn all kinds of things. It’s just getting to a point for me in my career to find that next step and take it,” Gallagher said. “I’ve accepted a position as an Area Director, it’s comparable to our Area Coordinator here in residential life. I’ll be joining Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts to work with their residential life team.”
Vice President for Student Affairs Kemal Atkins said that faculty moving on isn’t always necessarily a negative thing.
“One of the things I think is good about Keene State, among a lot of different areas but in student affairs particularly, is we do a good job of recruiting good people who make a contribution and develop skills that will continue to help sustain them and move their careers along. Whether they stay at Keene State or not, they’re still making a contribution to the field,” Atkins said.
When it comes to who will eventually be replacing Gallagher, Director of Campus Life Jen Ferrell is working with the human resources department to search for candidates. Director of Human Resources Karen Crawford said that the job will be posted internally, only to those at KSC, for ten days, at which point it is sent out externally for candidates anywhere to see.
“Our hope is to get somebody who brings some qualifications with them and in order to do that we have to get it out as broad as possible,” Crawford said. “I would say it should be a minimum of six weeks, maybe a little longer depending on how quickly we get applicants in and how many we get. We want a good pool and we’d like a diverse pool. Then we’ll take the entire pool and take a good look at it. Our goal is to fill it as soon as possible.”
Crawford said the position should most likely be filled before the spring semester starts and that any student organizations the position works with will be notified of who the new faculty member is. Until the replacement is decided, it is the hope of the college that student life on campus will still continue to improve.
“Our expectations are that we’ll continue to be able to provide the same level of service, if not a better level of service,” Atkins said. “One of the things that happens when there are changes in the organization, when individuals leave and before we bring another individual in, is the focus sharpens even more because you have that gap and you have to really get down into more detail to examine what you’re doing and make decisions about how you can make things better, how you can make sure there is no drop-off in services. It requires you to do even more reflection because you have to make sure you don’t fall off anywhere.”
KSC President Melinda Treadwell said that one of those improvements could be a redesign of how the Student Center operates.
“Jen Ferrell is thinking of what the future of the Student Center might look like for all of our students so that we have good support for our organizations, good support for student government and how we’re going to work on all of that,” Treadwell said. “Jen is in the process of redesigning and thinking of new models. We’re going to be doing research and looking for student feedback on that.”
Treadwell also hopes to find someone who will be successful in this position.
“It’s a must to make sure that we have a talented person in there to help continue to provide the brilliant support that Britany did. I think she was much appreciated and did so many good things,” Treadwell said. “We’ll find someone who can carry that legacy and feel just as beloved by our students broadly.”
Moving forward, Gallagher also hopes the best for the student involvement office.
“I certainly hope that Keene State is able to identify someone quickly, someone who has a breadth of experience working with fraternities and sororities, with student organizations, programming boards, and in general caching, mentoring, supervising and advising students,” Gallagher said. “I hope that person is able to come in and quickly get acclimated to the department and to the students and to the institution and basically take everything that was established before I got here, and furthered during my time here, and take it to the next step.”
Ferrell did not respond to request for comment.
Rachel Vitello can be contacted at